lil'bee

The skinny on food allergies

Eating & Nutrition   |   Age: 4 months 4 weeks


article_10828.jpg

The skinny on food allergies

Allergies are very common, and tend to run in families. If your baby comes from a genetic family history of allergies on either side, there’s a better chance that she will also have allergies. Other early signs that your baby might have allergies are eczema (dry, patchy, irritated skin) and asthma (which doesn't always show up as coughing, but can present as noisy breathing and wheezing through a cold). If you’re trying to figure out if she has an allergy, a common strategy suggests introducing new foods one at a time, and a few times in a row before moving on to the next food, so that if your baby does have a reaction, you’ll have a better idea where it came from.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ current recommendation says that there is no evidence to prove that waiting to introduce these foods will reduce the risk of allergies. In fact, new studies suggest that introducing highly allergenic foods (such as peanut-containing food) in small amounts early on can actually reduce the chances of babies developing allergies to these foods. It's also true that allergic reactions from first exposures to allergens are usually not severe and are often mild - redness around the lips and hives, for example. But parents whose children are at a high risk for developing allergies should certainly consult with their pediatrician, and possibly an allergist, when deciding how to go forward. If you and your healthcare provider decide on this method, it's important to be familiar with the signs of a severe allergic reaction, like repeated vomiting, wheezing, trouble breathing, or swollen tongue or lips. These should prompt an immediate 911 or other emergency services call. But studies now show that introducing small amounts of highly allergenic foods seem to be an important tool for helping to reduce the risk of dangerous allergies.

On the other hand, some physicians say babies are better equipped to handle allergic reactions at an older age, especially in the case of foods that tend to cause more severe allergic reactions, like seafood or peanuts. Infants’ stomachs can’t process some of the solids in whole milk until they grow a little, and the AAP suggests waiting until your baby is a year old to try it.

So at the end of the say, before deciding on any strategy for introducing foods that are common allergens, it’s a good idea to check in with your baby’s pediatrician for guidance.

Allergy symptoms

Most common allergens

Ninety percent of food allergies are to these allergens:

How to respond

Immediate medical attention for a severe allergic reaction is probably a given (a 911 call is a good idea if she is having trouble breathing or has facial swelling after eating), but some more mild reactions may be harder to know how to respond to. A first mild allergic reaction is no guarantee that a second reaction might not be more severe, and your baby’s pediatrician will be able to test her to confirm the allergen and tell you how to proceed.


More articles at this age

What to do if you're having suicidal thoughts


If you're having thoughts of self-harm, there are a number of resources that are immediately available.

Motor skills at 5 months


My how your baby has grown in the last 5 months! And more than just her body, it's remarkable how much her physical skills have grown, too!

Napping on a trip


Even the most adventurous babies can be a little skeptical about mixing adventure and nap time, but with a bit of advance planning, many families can making napping on-the-go a reality!

Communicating your rules to other caretakers


Everybody has their own set of beliefs and rules that dictate how they raise their children, so how do you communicate these rules to other caretakers who might be watching your little one?

High chair safety tips


High chairs are one of those places that are assumed to be safe because they're so frequently used, and although they very, very mostly are, there are still some things to consider to ensure the safest sitting experience possible.

What is BPA? Should I be concerned?


Parents of young children have plenty to worry about just trying to keep up with their offspring, without adding anything else to the list. Unfortunately, there are a few common chemicals that it's better if your child doesn't come into contact with, including BPA.

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏